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This is an era of scarce dignity
Wen | Liang Wendao
When I was in elementary school in Taiwan, one of my classmates was a military child. His father probably retired early, so he didn't receive much pensions and benefits. Later he lived a hard life as a farmer. Although poor, the table in his house was always spotlessly clean, and the toilet floor was shiny. Every time I went to eat at his house, I was stunned by the old Shandong uncle's loud mouth and his majestic appearance. And his child, my classmate, has always been neatly and meticulously dressed, despite his old clothes being washed white.
Recently, I occasionally recalled my childhood memories, remembering the extremely simple furnishings of his house, the cleanness of the window, the uprightness, and I just remembered that this is what the ancients called "poverty."
Poverty, that is, poverty is not cheap, and there is an air of self-respect. This kind of person is poor but poor, but the dignity is not to be taken lightly, not to belittle one 's food, not to show people color, and anyone who sees him must respect him by three points.
I was in Taiwan at an early age and in Hong Kong as an adult, and I have seen many such poor people, or old farmers in vegetable gardens, or iron workers with a spirit of vigor. They looked bright as if they were doing something important in the world.
The first two weeks, I participated in an event with Chen Danqing. The event was about to begin, and there were a lot of people standing outside the door. Chen Danqing asked the venue manager what was going on, the latter said that it was for safety and not to let everyone in. After entering the hall, we found that there was actually too much space, so Chen Danqing went out to negotiate and asked to let people in. I asked the front-row audience to move their chairs together to make room for others to stand.
As everyone moved their seats, the security personnel at the scene suddenly held the audience up while holding their hands, and screamed, "What! All are not allowed to move, go back! Go back!" The attitude was quite rough. No matter how I explained it, they turned a deaf ear and the scene started to get a little confusing. Then the management heard the sound and saw what was going on inside. I was upset and told the manager: "Your security is cursing!" So she pointed at a security guard and said, "You! Withdraw!" At this time, a calm audience pointed out my mistake in a timely manner: "He did not curse. "
That's right, the security guard did not say anything, he was just a bit aggressive and a bit violent. There seem to be only two attitudes here, either saluting to the distinguished guests, or expressing a strong voice when needed, with almost no middle ground.
Every time they encounter a problem, they can only maintain "safety" in accordance with the instructions of their superiors, and dare not be the master of their own. Because they are never empowered, their job is to be obedient. Every time they perform a task, their method is often to yell at people who are out of bounds, or even to pull unruly guys. Beyond that, they don't know that there are other more gentle expressions. Because maybe they are usually treated like this by themselves (I remember the "You! Withdraw!").
A few days later, I ate dinner in a restaurant and passed by a private room with a half-opened door when I went to the bathroom. I walked instinctively a few steps and saw a blushing man in the room scolding a waiter with a bowed head. He shouted, "Can you afford my clothes? Your boss has to call My uncle! You XX bastard! "I immediately remembered that dedicated security guard that day, not because he was very close to the" uncle "in front of him, but because he looked like he was so scared. The waiter.
Two years ago, Professor Sun Liping of Tsinghua University wrote a very good article entitled "The Dignity and No Shame of the Poor." He believes that the worsening gap between the rich and the poor has made it difficult for many weak people to keep their jobs, let alone to preserve their dignity. So, can our society uphold them? No. Because this is an age of dislike of the poor and love of the rich, this is the case in the mainstream of the city, and even in public power.
Have the policemen driving migrant workers in front of the station square ever shown respect? Has the urban management chasing hawkers on the street ever shown goodwill? China's class divide is not just the difference between power and wealth, but also the distribution of dignity; the dignity of the poor and the weak is as scarce as their property.
The social thinker Richard Sennet, who has become known to Chinese readers because of The Decline of the Public, has another well-received book: Respect. Although he is talking about a mature western capitalist society, we are not unfamiliar with it. Everyone has the dignity. But China's problems may be even more serious.
Before moving to a market economy, China also experienced a thorough Soviet revolution, and "disconnection and alienation marked the daily life of the Soviet empire ... bystanders became a way of survival." Everyone became isolated. Every atom of human relations has been severed by the system. The traditional watchfulness has helped to degenerate into indifference. Only the subordinate relationship between the power levels is still functioning.
Then, ruthless market competition came in, and the situation only got worse.
Interestingly, respect must be two-way: "To treat people with respect cannot automatically occur by order alone, it is still a mutual recognition. Mutual recognition requires the existence of negotiation, which involves the complexity of individual personality and social structure." In plain English, this is face. When the "uncle" feels that the waiter does not give himself face and humiliates him in public, he may not know that this kind of rudeness is a very shameful act in itself.
The weak are bullied, which does not mean that the bully and the strong get dignity; on the contrary, dignity and face are interpersonal dances. Anyone who deprives others of dignity cannot be a gentleman.
No wonder this society not only no longer sees "poverty", but even "riches" are almost dying. Wealthy and wealthy are both rich and expensive. How many rich people in China are rich today? So I'm willing to add a footnote to Sun Liping's point of view: Except for the poor and the weak, the rich and powerful nowadays are not necessarily very dignified.
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